Dr. Johanna Kaplan Founder and Director of the Washington Anxiety Center of Capitol Hill
Dr. Johanna Kaplan is the Founder and Director of the Washington Anxiety Center of Capitol Hill. She is a licensed child and adult clinical psychologist in Washington, DC, Maryland, and Virginia. She earned her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from The Catholic University of America and her undergraduate degree in Psychology and Communications from American University in Washington, D.C.
Prior to opening the Washington Anxiety Center, she worked for four years at the Center for Anxiety and Behavior Change in Rockville MD. She also completed 18 months of post-doctoral training at the Institute of Living/Hartford Hospital at the Anxiety Disorders Center/Center for Cognitive Behavioral Therapy under the direct supervision of David Tolin, Ph.D.
Additionally, she completed a 2-year post-baccalaureate fellowship and a 6-year pre-doctoral fellowship in the Mood and Anxiety Disorders Program at the National Institute of Mental Health. Dr. Kaplan has received extensive clinical and clinical-research training in anxiety, mood, and obsessive-compulsive spectrum disorders and has completed clinical and research work in private practice, community, counseling center, and hospital-based settings.
Together, she has over 60 presentations/publications in the domain of clinical anxiety in adult, adolescent, and child populations. She has been interviewed for several articles in Parent magazine, parent.com, Romper.com, klicknews.com, the Hillrag.com, and has been interviewed by several local television media outlets. She continues to actively pursue her education in evidence-based treatments for anxiety in these populations.
Dr. Kristin Kunkle Staff Clinical Psychologist at the Washington Anxiety Center of Capitol Hill Dr. Kristin Kunkle is a licensed child and adult clinical psychologist in Washington, DC, Maryland, Virginia, and New York. Dr. Kunkle also serves as an Adjunct Instructor for graduate-level psychology students at Catholic University of America.
Dr. Kunkle earned her Psy.D. in Clinical Psychology at Long Island University - Post Campus, and her B.S. in Psychology from West Virginia University. She completed a predoctoral internship at Rutgers University Behavioral Healthcare. After graduation, she also completed a clinical postdoctoral fellowship at the Columbia University Clinic for Anxiety and Related Disorders (CUCARD), where she specialized in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) for children, adolescents, and adults with anxiety disorders.
Prior to joining the Washington Anxiety Center of Capitol Hill, she worked for three years as a clinical psychologist and instructor of medical psychology at CUCARD and Columbia University Medical Center. Her specific clinical expertise includes separation anxiety, specific phobias, obsessive-compulsive disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, parent training, behavior management, and post-traumatic stress disorder. She has experience using interventions such as Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP), Mindfulness, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), Behavioral Activation, Motivational Interviewing (MI), Parent Management Training (PMT), Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT), and Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TFCBT). Dr. Kunkle provides treatment in a variety of different modalities, including individual, group, and intensive psychotherapy, as well as family coaching approaches and school consultations.
“When working with clients, I strive to be an empathetic source of support while also encouraging clients to make steps toward values-based goals in their lives. My goal is to not only be a voice of encouragement, but to help clients strengthen their own voices and eventually become their own coach when overcoming a challenge. I take a collaborative, goal-based approach, teach skills for coping with difficult emotions, and engage in active practices in session to help prepare clients for coping in their daily lives.”
Dr. Sahar Esfahani Staff Clinical Psychologist at the Washington Anxiety Center of Capitol Hill Dr. Sahar Esfahani is a licensed clinical psychologist in Washington, DC, and Illinois. She completed her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from Palo Alto University (Pacific Graduate School of Psychology) in Palo Alto, CA.
Prior to joining the Washington Anxiety Center of Capitol Hill, Dr. Esfahani worked for two years at the Chicago Cognitive Behavioral Treatment Center where she provided evidence-based treatment to children, adolescents and adults for a range of anxiety, mood, and obsessive-compulsive spectrum disorders including obsessive-compulsive disorder, panic disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, specific phobias, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), body-focused repetitive behaviors, depression, and various addictive disorders.
She completed her post-doctoral fellowship at the San Francisco VA Medical Center/ University of California at San Francisco (UCSF) with an emphasis in Co-occurring Substance Use Disorders and PTSD, and her pre-doctoral internship at Northern California VA Medical Center with rotations in: Behavioral Medicine/Pain Management, PTSD, Substance Use Disorders, and Department of Defense (DoD) Active Duty Inpatient Unit at Travis Air Force Base. Alongside these experiences she trained at an outpatient community-based trauma clinic providing early intervention treatments under the supervision of Drs. Josef Ruzek and Matthew Cordova, at the Early Intervention Clinic based in Menlo Park, CA.
Dr. Esfahani is well-versed in various evidence-based treatments including: Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP), Habit Reversal Training (HRT), Mindfulness, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), Behavioral Activation, Motivational Interviewing (MI), Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT), Prolonged Exposure (PE), and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia (CBT-I).
Dr. Esfahani is a member of the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA), American Psychological Association (APA), and the International Society of Traumatic Stress Studies (ISTSS).
“I feel privileged in my role to guide clients through a journey toward improving their lives. My therapeutic style is compassionate, active and nonjudgmental. I strive to meet clients where they are and help them navigate toward where they want to be based on their goals and values. I am constantly in awe of the work that I do and with the resilience of clients I work with.”
Dr. Rachel LaFleur Staff Clinical Psychologist at the Washington Anxiety Center of Capitol Hill
Dr. Rachel LaFleur is a licensed psychologist in the District of Columbia and Maryland. She earned her M.Ed., Ed.S., and Ph.D. in School Psychology from Georgia State University, and her B.A. in Psychology from Binghamton University.
Prior to joining the Washington Anxiety Center of Capitol Hill, Dr. LaFleur completed a predoctoral internship at Boys Town’s Center for Behavioral Health via the Nebraska Internship Consortium in Professional Psychology. At Boys Town, Dr. LaFleur received specialized training to treat adolescents and provided outpatient therapy services to youth living in the Village of Boys Town and youth living in their natural homes. After graduation, she completed a clinical postdoctoral fellowship at the Kennedy Krieger Institute’s Behavior Management Clinic via the John Hopkins University School of Medicine. At the Kennedy Krieger Institute, she received specialized training to treat children and provided outpatient therapy services. Dr. LaFleur also providers treatment to adult populations.
Dr. LaFleur has expertise treating anxiety (i.e., separation anxiety, performance anxiety, specific phobias, and generalized anxiety), mood (i.e., depression, emotion dysregulation, and low frustration tolerance), disruptive behavior (i.e., interruptions, tantrums/outbursts, verbal and physical aggression, and non-compliance), and other common preschool and school-aged concerns, including difficulties related to sleep, eating, toileting, family conflict, body-focused repetitive behaviors, and school.
She has experience providing a wide range of behavioral and cognitive behavioral interventions, including Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP), Mindfulness, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), Behavioral Activation, Parent Management Training (PMT), Habit Reversal Training (HRT), Motivational Interviewing (MI), and Functional Family Therapy (FFT). Dr. LaFleur is also a certified Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT) therapist. PCIT is a well-researched and highly effective treatment for children ages 2-7 with behavioral and anxiety challenges. Dr. LaFleur draws from her background in school psychology to provide school consultation and commonly uses live coaching methods to provide families with the practice they need to move through treatment efficiently and effectively.
“I believe that a prerequisite to treatment is a warm, collaborative relationship. Approaching care with integrity and without judgment, earning your trust, and honoring your goals and expertise matter to me. I use cutting-edge, evidence-based treatments to help children and adolescents, and their families, to get unstuck and find meaningful and measurable change. I'll share my skills with you and you'll make them your own. When you graduate from treatment, you'll understand why it worked and be prepared to apply your skills to challenges that may arise in the future.”